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North Carolina 4-H Presentation Guidelines: Horse

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  • Encourage 4-H’ers to teach others how to do something related to horses by the correct use of visuals or equipment.
  • Improve 4-H members’ confidence in their ability to present information in a logical and concise manner.
  • Increase the level of horse knowledge and expertise.
  • Increase 4-H members’ study skills and ability to use correct English.


  • 8-10 – 4-H’er must be 8 years old prior to January 1 of the current year and not have reached their eleventh birthday before January 1 of the current year.
  • 11-13 – 4-H’er must be eleven years old prior to January 1 of the current year and not have reached their fourteenth birthday before January 1 of the current year.
  • 14-18 – 4-H’er must be fourteen years of age prior to January 1 of the current year, and not have reached their nineteenth birthday before January 1 of the current year.
  • Each contestant must be an actual 4-H club member interested in horses. Members of 4-H are not eligible, however, to participate in a horse presentation or illustrated talk if by the date of the district contest they will have completed a year of training beyond the high school level in a communication course that requires public speaking. Participants do not need their own horse(s).
  • The individual and team horse demonstration contests will be divided into three age divisions (8-10, 11-13, 14-18). Each county will be allowed to enter one team and one individual in each age division in district competition during District Activity Days. All members of a Senior team must have reached age 14 but not age 19 before January 1 of the current year. In the 11-13 and 14-18 divisions, the first and second-place finishers will both move on to the state finals. In the 8-10 division, only the winner will advance to the state contest. The state contest will be held during State 4-H Congress. District Activity Day rules will apply towards participation in other activities.
  • The state winner and runner-up of the 14-18 division will be eligible to represent North Carolina in the Southern Regional contest in accordance with the rules of that contest. The state-winning 14-18 division individual will be eligible to represent North Carolina in other national contests if such contests are offered in accordance with the rules of those contests. The state is not responsible for providing expenses to these contests but will attempt to assist.
  • Previous state winners representing North Carolina in the Southern Regional competition or other national contests are ineligible for further state competition.


Horse Guidelines

N.C. 4-H Horse Presentation Score Sheet. Extension Horse Husbandry, NCSU, Box 7523, Raleigh, NC 27695-7523. Phone (919/515-5784); Fax (919/515-8518).

4-H Presentations (4H L-1-172) will be helpful in preparing youths for this contest. Also Judging Presentations and the 4-H Scorecard will be helpful. Both are available from the office of 4-H Youth Development at North Carolina State University.


  • At the discretion of the State 4-H Horse Advisory Board, individual and team presentation contests may be combined. Consult the annual Advisory Board Minutes.
  • Two(2) youth per age division may participate from each county as individual’s however, only one team is allowed from each county per age division.
  • Demonstrations or illustrated talks may be on any horse-related subject.
  • An Individual Presentation must be a minimum of 4 minutes (8-10, 11-13) or 8 minutes (14-18) and not longer than 12 minutes. One point will be deducted per judge, for each minute, or fraction thereof, under 4 minutes (8-10, 11-13) or 9 minutes (14-18) or over 12 minutes.
  • The demonstration or illustrated talks will be judged equally on the following basis:

    Introduction (10 points)

    Subject Matter (30 points)

    Organization (15 points)

    Technique (25 points)

    Originality (10 points)

    Demonstrator (5 points)

    Summary (5 points)

  • Notes and visuals may be used. Visuals should be neat, legible, and large enough to read easily. Contestants should note their major references.

Presentation Ideas:

Suggested Topics or Ideas for Horse Demonstrations, Illustrated Talks, Public Speaking Contest or Club Meetings

Breeding:Selecting a Broodmare or Stallion

Important Points in a Breeding Contract

Types of Breeding Systems

How to Tease Mares

Breeding Records

Solving Breeding Problems

Handling and Equipment for Breeding

Care of Mare and Foal

Artificial Insemination

Fertility or Disease

Management Practices for Broodmares

Anatomy and Function of Reproductive Tract

Feeding:What to Look for in Good Quality Hay

Nutrients– How They are Used and Supplied

Nutrient Requirements

Balancing a Horse Ration

Digestive Organs in the Horse

How to Select a Supplement

Vitamin Requirements

Feed Management Practices

Pasture Selection, Renovation and/or Fertilization

Types of Pasture

Poisonous Plants

Health:Vaccination Program

Control of Internal Parasites

Control of External Parasites

Founder — Cause and Treatment

Colic — How to Recognize, Treat and Prevent

Azoturia or Typing-Up

Sleeping Sickness — What It Is and How to Prevent It

Respiratory Diseases

How to Recognize a Sick Horse

What to Know Before Calling Your Veterinarian

How to Bandage a Horse

Emergency First Aid

What is Needed in a First Aid Kit (Barn, Trailer, Breeding Farm)

How to Treat a Leg Injury (Splint, Bowed Tendon, Muscle Sprain, Cut)

Fistula Withers — Cause, Treatment and Prevention

Thrush — Recognize, Treatment and Prevention

Swamp Fever

Dummy Foal

Epiphysitis — Cause and Treatment

How to Locate an Injury

How to Determine Lameness

How to Give an Injection

Deworming Methods

Management:Facilities Required

Medicating the Untrained or Stubborn Horses

Design Farm or Barn

Stall Requirements, Shelter, Bedding

How to Determine the Horse’s Age

Make a Measuring Stick and Show How to Measure Horses

How to Prepare a Yearling for Sale

Types of Fences for Horse Pasture

Clipping the Problem Horse

Trimming the Horse’s Feet Correctly Trailer Safety

How to Keep Records on a Horse Farm

Care of the Newborn Foal

Shoeing — When to Shoe, Shoe Selection, Corrective Shoeing

Horseman’s Knots — How and When to Use Them

Selection:Conformation as it Relates to Athletic Ability

Important Points in Buying a Horse

Specific Discussion on a Structural

Unsoundness — Bench Knees, Parrot Mouth, Etc.

How to Evaluate and Compare Horses Objectively

How to Organize and Give Oral Reasons

How to Judge a Working Hunter Class, Western Pleasure, Reining, Etc.

Anatomy of the Front Leg

Anatomy of the Foot

Anatomy and Function of the Eye

Training:How to Catch, Halter and Lead a Horse

How and Where to Tie a Horse

Teaching A Foal to Lead

Vices and How to Prevent Them

Loading Problem Horses

Selecting the Proper Bit

Breaking a Young Horse

Bitting Rigs

How to Train a Horse to Rein, Stop, Jump, Etc.

Training a Western Pleasure Horse, Reining, Hunter, Race Horses, Etc.

Rider Aids

When and How to Use Draw Reins, Tiedowns, Etc.

Genetics:Registration Papers — How to Complete What They Say

Coat Colors or Markings –How to Differentiate

Genetics of Coat Color

Genetics of Speed, Conformation

Evolution of the Horse

History of Quarter Horses

Linebreeding — Why

Crossbreeding — Is It Helpful

Genetic Defects

Showing:Discuss Attire for a Specific Riding Style

Show and Discuss Riding Seat (Saddle, Hunt or Stock)

Tips for Showmanship

Grooming a Horse Correctly

What is Judged in Western Riding, English Pleasure, Etc.

How to Thin Manes and Tails

How to Braid Horses

Selecting the Correct Saddle to Fit

Organizing or Conducting a Horse Show

Miscellaneous:Discuss a Riding Event — Fox Hunting, Endurance Races, Steeple Chases, Racing, Competitive Trail Riding, Polo, Etc.

How to Fix a Bridle, Halter, or Saddle

Making Your Own Equipment (Bridle, Blankets, Halter, Etc.)

History and Attributes of Morgans

Horse Psychology

How to Photograph Horses

How to Build A Creep Feeder

How to Restore, Clean, and Preserve Leather

Methods of Horse Identification


  • Judges will review and critique each presentation prior to announcing the State winners.
  • NC 4-H Horse Program Horse Presentation Scorecard will be used.
  • Judges will be instructed to ask questions pertaining specifically to the topic. The audience is prohibited from asking questions. Question time will not be counted toward the allotted time period.



Alaina Parsons Cross, M.S.
Equine Extension Associate
NCSU Extension Horse Husbandry
220B Polk Hall
Campus Box 7621, Raleigh NC 27695
Page Last Updated: 2 years ago
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